Harwinder Sandhu, a Vernon registered nurse, has won the Vernon-Monashee riding after mail-in and absentee votes were counted. (Black Press - file photo)

Harwinder Sandhu, a Vernon registered nurse, has won the Vernon-Monashee riding after mail-in and absentee votes were counted. (Black Press - file photo)

B.C. VOTES 2020: NDP takes Vernon-Monashee for the first time since the 1980s

Vernon’s Harwinder Sandhu of the NDP unseats three-term Liberal incumbent Eric Foster

For Harwinder Sandhu’s daughter’s birthday, the best gift came after lunch.

Sandhu, running for the NDP, was officially elected as Vernon-Monashee MLA Sunday, Nov. 8, after mail-in and absentee ballots were counted over two-and-a-half days.

The Vernon nurse garnered 10,222 votes to unseat three-term Liberal incumbent Eric Foster, who collected 9,798 votes, a difference of 424 votes. Sandhu becomes the first NDP candidate to win the riding since the 1980s. She had trailed Foster by 182 votes at the end of election night, Oct. 24.

The result came on her daughter Jasreen’s 14th birthday.

“This has been a week of mixed emotions because Nov. 6 was the 10th anniversary of my first husband’s death, Jasreen turned four just two days after it, but to win on her birthday, she said that was the biggest gift of all,” said Sandhu from her home. She was so busy accepting congratulations that she missed a call to her cell phone from NDP Premier John Horgan.

Her first call of congratulations came from a gracious Foster.

“We had a great talk,” said Sandhu. “I thanked him for his years of service. I want to work with him to get this feedback and he’s got so much experience. He gave me some advice about how hard the job can be for people with young families.”

Working in the healthcare profession, she said, will prepare her for her new role in Victoria.

“In healthcare, you walk into the unpredictable every day,” said Sandhu. “You hit the ground running. I’m looking forward to making Vernon-Monashee proud for everybody, not just those who voted for me.”

Horgan phoned Sandhu election night and got an earful about issues in the riding.

“He said how proud he was of our team and how the voting showed that people could see potential in us. We had a great conversation,” said Sandhu.

Foster was upbeat but understandably disappointed when contacted after the result.

“I’m OK,” he said. “It’s always unfortunate when you don’t cross the finish line in first place. But Harwinder did a great job and she’ll do a great job in Victoria. I wish her nothing but the best. It will be an exciting next four years.”

Asked about his future, Foster said he will go to Victoria and clean out his office and apartment, then return to his home in Lumby that he shares with his wife, Janice.

“I’ll sit down and put my feet up for a bit but we are going to be involved in the community,” he said. “We’re not going to hide in our backyard.”

Green Party candidate Keli Westgate finished third in the riding with 4,464 votes while Conservative Kyle Delfing was fourth with 3,472 votes.

READ MORE: B.C. VOTES 2020: The latest results as mail-in ballot counts continue



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Vernon nurse Harwinder Sandhu has been elected as MLA for Vernon-Monashee.

In a stunning upset, Sandhu garnered 10,222 votes to unseat three-term Liberal incumbent Eric Foster, who finished with 9,798 votes. It’s the first time the riding has elected an NDP member to the Legislature in Victoria since the 1980s.

Foster had a 182 vote lead at the end of election night Saturday, Oct. 24, with mail-in and absentee ballots still to be counted.

Those votes were checked over the past three days.

BC politicsBC Votes 2020

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Picture of two swans leaving the Cowichan estuary moments before one was shot out of the sky. (Submitted photo)
Petition to stop hunting in Cowichan estuary after swan shot

Hunters blame shooting on illegal poachers

Volunteer Suzanne Anderson rings her bell at the Christmas kettle at Thrifty Foods on Nov. 20. (Robert Barron/Citizen)
Volunteers needed for annual Christmas Kettle Campaign in Cowichan

Money used for Salvation Army’s Christmas Hamper Program

Kendra Thomas from Warmland Women’s Support Services invites Cowichan residents to find out more about youth sex trafficking with an online event Nov. 16, 2020. (File photo)
Learn more about youth sex trafficking with ‘Love Bombing 101’

Nov. 22-28 is Victims and Survivors of Crime Week

Pnina Benyamini loved to be around people and people loved her. (Photo submitted)
Many facets to energetic Chemainus woman’s legacy

Benyamini taught yoga, belly dancing and more to an adoring public

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

Krista Macinnis displays the homework assignment that her Grade 6 daughter received on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)
Abbotsford mom angry that students asked to list positive stories about residential schools

Daughter’s Grade 6 class asked to write down 5 positive stories or facts

B.C. projects targeting the restoration of sockeye salmon stocks in the Fraser and Columbia Watersheds will share in $10.9 million of federal funding to protect species at risk. (Kenny Regan photo)
13 projects protecting B.C. aquatic species at risk receive $11 million in federal funding

Salmon and marine mammals expected to benefit from ecosystem-based approach

Barrels pictured outside Oliver winery, Quinta Ferreira, in May. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
B.C. Master of Wine reflects on industry’s teetering economic state

Pandemic, for some wine makers, has been a blessing in disguise. For others, not so much.

A fentanyl test strip is used at Vancouver Coastal Health in Vancouver, Tuesday, January, 21, 2020. The test strips will be made available to drug users to ensure that their drugs are safe and free of Fentanyl. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Drug overdoses lead to 5 deaths each day in October; drug toxicity continues to increase

COVID-19 crisis continues to exacerbate the overdose crisis

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

An employee of the Adventure Hotel was taken to hospital on Nov. 20 after she confronted a customer of Empire Coffee about not wearing a mask. File photo.
Nelson hotel employee suffers heart attack after being assaulted in anti-mask incident

An accountant at the Adventure Hotel is in hospital in Kelowna

Damien Smith, with father Thomas Smith, is “frozen” with joy as he watches a special message Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds recorded for Damien’s 9th birthday on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. (Contributed)
Shuswap boy celebrates 9th birthday with family, community and Ryan Reynolds

People from around the world send birthday cards showing young Canoe resident he’s not alone

The Trenton Golden Hawks are changing their name and uniform for one game on Nov. 27 as they become the Trenton Snowbirds for one game to honour Capt. Jennifer Casey. Twitter photo
Hockey team honouring fallen Snowbird with Island connection

The Trenton Golden Hawks will become the Trenton Snowbirds for one game

Most Read